2002 - Ongoing Update
LGVN Animals - East European Animal Welfare
EUROPE ... they have a lot of catching up
reasons, former Soviet Union and Balkan countries might well be
jostling to become part of the European Union. But there are now
increasing numbers of incidents and reports emerging from this edge
of the European continent, all relating to appalling abuse on animals
and their surrounding environment.
LGVN presents an ongoing series of articles.
... A LAND OF CRUELTY?
An article by the Croatian Animal Welfare
Edited and revised
small country for great holidays ... But a small country
for great cruelty!"
tourism slogan could soon appear with those extra words you see
Why? ... Because if we take some of the following facts into consideration,
my country Croatia shamefully stands out amongst others by it's
appalling treatment towards animals ... and the situation is getting
we were proud of our population of griffon vultures, about one hundred
of them. Now we have only fifty. Half the population were poisoned
in just one day during a bear hunt. No attempt was made to even
look for, let alone punish the culprit. Excuse the pun, but this
incident was barely reported or written about in Croatia, or anywhere
a comparative example, Romania has a population of two griffon vultures
and spends millions of euros on them. In Croatia, 50 or so are killed
Likewise, we could have been proud of our bear population, which
was one of the largest in South Eastern Europe; but instead we decided
to give up this wonderful creature for the sake of hunting.
Ironically, a bear is actually featured on our five-kuna coin.
So, for a couple of thousand euros, foreign hunters can come to
this country, kill a bear, eat lunch and go home with its fur as
With no proof to back up their claims, local hunters blamed our
bears for the mysterious deaths of sheep on the island of Krk. Just
another excuse for these misunderstood creatures to be hunted and
shot. Local authorities didn't even respond to solutions offered
by respected foreign experts. Instead they continued to insist on
The hunting lobby is strong in this country; therefore offers by
foreign environmental organizations are often ignored.
At a sitting
of the hunting alliance, The President of the Croatian Republic,
Stjepan Mesic stated that various negative stories about bears and
other animals tend to circulate amongst those who do not know a
lot about hunting.
In fact, misinformation circulates amongst much of the Croatian
public, mostly uneducated about animal welfare. Completely unproven
claims of rampaging bears and other wild animals ripping whole herds
of sheep to pieces just give more credibility and support to the
country's hunting lobby. Because of this ignorance, bloody sports
and killing for pleasure seems to stand proud in our countries cultural
The way things are going at the moment, the only place we are likely
to see a Croatian bear in the future is on our five-kuna coin.
Croatia is probably
the only country in the world where a hunter can openly say on national
television that he has killed somebody's dog, cat, donkey etc. -
and that he will also kill others.
Hunting grounds start as close as three hundred metres from private
land. Hunters take full advantage of this and intentionally kill
"everything that moves". They know too well that the law
allows them to do so, and they stretch that law to extremes.
It is simply repulsive to watch these hunters - macho he-men in
military dress, armed with guns and lead by dogs. They set out on
their heroic crusades - the killing of "dangerous wild beasts"
- such as rabbits, pheasants and foxes ... It's pathetic.
are not the only ones who use loopholes in our catastrophic Animal
Protection Act. Croatia's entertainment industry regularly uses
animals as stage props. The performers hurl them around the stage,
batter them or sacrifice them in the course of "artistic expression".
Up to a point, public activities like this might get condemned -
and there is talk of bringing charges, but the sentiments are short-lived
and soon forgotten. These occurrences are overshadowed by other,
more inane news incidents, which the media would rather make space
are a small Central European country, we are the largest world producer
of chinchilla fur, with up to 50% of the total world production.
These small South American animals are kept throughout their life
in cramped cages. And when their time comes, their necks are broken
- then they are skinned. These poor creature's pelts proudly contribute
to Croatia's export economy. In just 6 months, Chinchilla Co. Ltd.
produced 10.5 tonnes of carcasses of these small rodents.
Even though more and more people in the world support synthetic
fur, and are against the production of natural (animal) fur, Croatia
is not interested in banning fur farming. Croatia is not interested
in the fact that the anti-fur movement is gaining strength all the
time and that a large number of civilized countries across the world
condemn this kind of cruelty. But in our country, a woman thinks
she is not a 'real woman' without a fur coat.
Croatia, we ask ourselves, in which century and time are we living:
the stone-age or the third millennium?"
to animal species from other continents, it is necessary to mention
ostriches, which are presently one of the growing problems in Croatia.
There are more and more breeders of these African birds, even though
there is no legislation in our country on the keeping and slaughter
of these animals. The bringing of such legislation is sought from
authorities. In the meantime, neighboring Austria has banned the
slaughter of ostriches.
This is the irony, because everything that is repulsive to the "West"
- just a border away - is allowed in our country; from the hunting
of protected species to the farming of fur and the slaughter of
the problem does not just lie in the farming and slaughter of animals
from other continents. In all countries around the world, animals
such as chickens, pigs, cows, horses and sheep are nothing but articles
to serve and fulfill meat eaters. That is the common state of world
animal farming for the masses. In some countries such as Great Britain
there are rules, which are supposed to be followed when slaughtering
animals. This is to reduce their pain of death to the minimum. But
in Croatia they are inconsiderately slaughtered without anesthetic.
Their teeth, wings, tails and testes are cut with no thought given
to help reduce their pain.
Passing through any Croatian rural settlement, anyone can see for
themselves how such barbaric techniques are used to put animals
to death. Veal calves, for example, are hung alive, upside down
and their throats cut to drain their bodies of blood as the heart
continues to pump.
in Croatia are some of the largest chicken farms in Europe, as well
as some of the larger European farms for milk cows and pigs. Similarly,
we can 'boast' about our huge turkey, calve and beef cattle farms
... all run using barbaric slaughtering methods.
Favourite specialties and popular meals are young pigs and lambs.
Particularly ugly sights are the numerous restaurants along busy
Croatian roads, with skewered baby animals turning over fires in
front of the restaurant entrances.
There is no
celebration, wedding or holiday without a roast or an excess of
However, probably one of the greatest problems occurs in the Adriatic
Sea, which is almost totally depleted of fish. Fishing trawlers
have ruined the seabed, by dragging their nets, and have over fished
the entire area. Apart from our local fishermen, the Japanese are
now assaulting the Adriatic Sea using new, more intensive methods.
We take this
opportunity to consider some of our folk traditions, such as the
beheading of bulls on the island Korcula. In fact this wasn't even
a tradition in the first place. It was introduced as a tourist attraction,
but instead gave rise to criticism and repugnance. Thankfully, it
was given up after just two seasons.
What else can
we expect? What other horrific ideas lie in the heads of our people
or tourist associations? People who are more concerned about profit
rather than conserving their depleting natural resources and native
animals. The Croatian public must stand back and realize that they
are ecologically out of sync with global concerns about the environment,
species extinction and the ethical treatment of animals.
becoming the slaughterhouse of Europe?
countries laws prohibit the abuse of animals, our country seems
to revel in it ... as a tourist attraction.
The number of vegetarians worldwide is steadily increasing and health
organizations around the world are supporting vegetarianism as healthy
and ethical choice. But in our country, authorities still have no
understanding for the introduction of vegetarian meals or food labeling
into public institutions.
nobody has yet been punished because of cruelty to animals.
Almost anything is tolerated. Pet owners can abuse their animal
with no worry about being charged with cruelty. Therefore, it's
no surprise when dogs and cats are abandoned and thrown out onto
the street during the holiday season. They finally end up in a pound
where they are killed within a shorter time limit than the law permits.
At the beginning
of this article we parodied, "A small country for a great holiday".
This is the advertising slogan of the Croatian Tourist Association.
It's inspired by a seldom seen natural beauty of our land - its
large potential for eco-tourism and the production of ecological
(organic) growth and health food.
The purpose of this article is not to dispute that, but to seek
an answer to the questions:
"Why is Croatia turning to blood thirsty tourism of killing
donkeys and bears?
"Why is Croatia killing and selling of rare songbirds?
"Why is Croatia farming animal species endemic to other climes
and the opening of new hunting-grounds?"
At the same
time, our rural tourism - illustrated by the beauty of ancient castles
- deteriorates further, as they become overgrown with nettles and
acacias. What was once among the cleanest rivers and springs in
this part of the world are now undrinkable, poisoned a result of
bad planning of industrial waste zones.
The resulting cruelty and negligence towards all the animal species
that share these expanses with us is overwhelming.
Even though we are a 'small' country, Croatia is unfortunately also
a land of great cruelty.
news features linked to this article click
in the Ukraine animals are suffering similar fates
in the Ukraine are subject to horrific abuse. When caught by the
dog catchers, many are used for painful experiments. In most cases
the animals are bludgeoned and slowly gassed, and some are still
conscious whilst being skinned. Their furs are also being sold off
by corrupt local government officials.
The Kiev SPA-SOS continues to receive disturbing reports that links
this barbaric practice to high profile companies and government
departments. The latest reveals that a German weapons company in
Kiev has been using stray animals to test rubber bullets at close
a major UK animal welfare organization has been running a campaign
to highlight the continuing atrocities taking place in Ukraine.
you can read the full report on this news item and interact with
the issue which you can find in VeggieGlobal's VoiceOver
and VeggieGlobal News Copyright.
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